Vintage Le Creuset Colors And Materials
The company is synonymous with the flame color that adorns so many of its products, chosen to resemble the production. For the first 30 years, all the products came in this color only. Therefore, any vintage pieces that are said to be pre-1955 should be this color only.
Anything that is any other color other than flame is not dated correctly. Elysées yellow was introduced in 1956 and other colors followed shortly.
In terms of material design, the 1950s and 1960s saw ribbed bases. The handle design changed with looped lid handles replaced by stainless steel or phenolic knobs. The 1950s saw Raymond Loewy design the iconic Coquelle French oven.
The 1970s saw the introduction of the new Mama series designed by Enzo Mari, famous for its new handle shape.
The 1990s saw widening in the production range at Le Creuset. New ranges were introduced with new materials used. They included aluminium, stainless steel, silicone, stoneware and textiles.
What Is Le Creuset Made Out Of
The core competency of Le Creuset is cast iron. They are world leading experts in casting and they have perfected the difficult process of enameling cast iron.
Over recent years, they have become a lifestyle brand and now offer a wide array of products. Materials used include, steel, ceramics, plastics etc.
To Our Valued Customers
We regret that due to technical challenges caused by new regulations in Europe, we can for the time being no longer accept orders from the European Union. If you reside in the UK you can continue to order from our UK websites or shop from our locations and partners. Visit West Elm at www.westelm.co.uk and Pottery Barn Kids at www.potterybarnkids.co.uk.
Matters of consumer privacy and rights are paramount to our brands and we will continue to work diligently to make our products available to you. The pace of global regulations is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our products everywhere.
We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding. Thank you for your patronage.
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Should You Buy An Aldi Cast
Each year, Aldi sells a range of cast-iron cookware, including French pans, roasters and Dutch ovens under the Crofton brand, as part of its Special Buy sale. It usually sells Dutch ovens in about four colours. This year’s sale is on Saturday 13 August and there are 3.6L cast-iron Dutch ovens up for grabs for $26.99 each in green, blue, pastel purple and grey.
Often selling out fast, it’s not only the super-cheap price that has won the range fans. We asked a few CHOICE staff members who have bought the Aldi cast-iron pots in the past whether they felt the purchase offered value for money.
CHOICE staff offer their thoughts
CHOICE staff member Laura has owned an Aldi Dutch oven for 1218 months, using it two to three times a week. She says she is “absolutely” satisfied with the purchase, although she has noticed very recently that some of the red coating on the outside has chipped off a little.
“I haven’t used any of the premium brands so I can’t compare it, but it works well, heats evenly, looks good and does the job it’s supposed to do,” she says. “No complaints.”
I find food tastes nicer when I cook on cast iron versus other pans
Emily, CHOICE staffer
Another CHOICE staff member Emily owns both a cast-iron French pan and a Dutch oven from the Aldi range that she uses about once a month.
Aldi sells its range of cast-iron cookware, including Dutch ovens, about once a year. Image: Aldi.
Repairing or replacing parts
Heat resistance compared
What Choice Testing Says
We saw varied results in our testing of eight market-leading cast iron pots. As is often the case, price is not always a reliable indicator of performance. CHOICE members can access the full reviews.
Although we’re unable to recommend it, the Kmart cast-iron did perform comparatively well in many of our tests. For example, it scored an impressive 95% in our bolognese sauce test .
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Le Creuset Just Released A New Olive Color For Spring
Bring some calm to your kitchen with this soothing color
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A good dutch oven is essential for delicious soups, stews, melt-in-your-mouth braised meats, and more. Le Creuset has been making dutch oven dreams come true since 1925, and every year, the French brand keeps expanding. It continues to add more helpful cookware and bakeware pieces to its collection, and new colors. The latest colorjust in time for springis olive.
This new green color brings a sense of calm to your kitchen, and we particularly love that it also blends well with your kitchen houseplants. Get inspired with this earthy color as you cut and slice spring vegetables, or just admire its presence on your stovetop as we slip into spring.
Whether you choose to use your new olive Le Creuset pieces to cook a family meal or add a soothing pop of color to your open shelving is up to you.
Below, find a taste of some of the most popular Le Creuset pieces in their new olive color.
How The Lodge Has Held Up
Weve also used the Lodge Dutch oven in our test kitchen regularly since 2014, and it performs as well as ever. Repeatedly moving the pot from stovetop to cabinet has caused some exterior scratching on the bottom, but the enamel finish is unmarred. The interior is still free of any major scratches, and the enamel finish has no cracks or chips. However, as the photos show above, the Lodges finish can wear down and discolor. This wont affect the pots functionality, unless the enamel flakes off. To remove stains on the light interior, you can use a bleach solution or a baking soda paste.
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Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
The bottom of the Lodge has a slightly curved surface compared with Le Creusets oven. Thats an asset when sautéing vegetables or caramelizing onions, but the Lodge required a few extra minutes to achieve the same level of sear on large cuts of meat, compared with other ovens with flatter surface areas. The base is an inch smaller than that on Le Creusets oven, so you have a little less room to brown meat if youre cooking in large batches.
Weve seen complaints from Amazon reviewers, our readers, and a few Wirecutter staff members that the Lodges enamel chips easily. We havent experienced any chipping ourselves, and Lodge told us that its warranty covers cracked or chipped enamel. But one Wirecutter writer with a damaged pot did not hear back from Lodges customer service. The Lodge is much more affordable than our upgrade pick, but it may also have a shorter lifespan. Price isnt always a tradeoff for quality, but in the case of Dutch ovens, it may be something to consider.
Cheap Brands Vs Premium Cast
With such a huge price difference between cast-iron pots from brands such as Aldi and Kmart and high-end brands such as Staub and Le Creuset, what do diehard users of these types of pots say?
“We bought a budget Kmart cast-iron pot for $29 about five or so years ago and it has been a great companion in the kitchen,” says one CHOICE Community member. “The only thing we have noticed is that the enamel lining the inside of the pot has significantly discoloured over time but apart from this, it has been well and truly a good pot.”
I have an Aldi and a Kmart Dutch oven. I’ve had them for more than five years and they both get a good workout
CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair
Our kitchen expert Fiona Mair agrees: “I have an Aldi and a Kmart Dutch oven. I’ve had them for more than five years and they both get a good workout.
“I have noticed that after a year they did lose the smooth interior coating which helps to prevent sticking of food such as rice or pasta. If I’m cooking a soup or casserole I have to stir it constantly, even on a simmer, to ensure it doesn’t stick.
“As they age, staining does become more obvious and they become trickier to clean. They are cheap enough that you could replace them every few years, although you have to consider the impact that has on the environment in terms of unnecessary waste.
“They are recyclable though, so that’s good news if you would rather opt for a cheaper pot that you can then replace.”
Read more: Best frying pans under $150
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Le Creuset Just Launched A New Olive Green Color For Spring And Its Selling Out Fast
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Le Creuset is known for its colorful enameled cast-iron cookware. From deep blue Dutch ovens to pastel purple mugs, the brand offers something for every kitchen. However, this week, Le Creuset released a new color for spring and its a beautiful green the brand is appropriately calling Olive.
The Olive collection is a collaboration with Williams Sonoma and its inspired by European olive groves. However, its also the perfect color for spring. Yes, even if you hate olives, you could say that this briny color is reminiscent of fresh-cut grass, flower stems and other foliage. The Olive color features the brands signature ombre coloring and shiny glaze, and pairs well with white and neutral kitchens to add a crisp yet light pop of color.
You can find the new colorful cookware at Le Creuset and at Williams Sonoma, both online and in stores. There are at least 11 different items in the Olive color, including aDutch oven in two sizes, a skillet, a braiser, a stockpot and bakers. However, this color has proven to be popular. Since launching a few days ago, a few pieces have already sold out on Le Creusets website.
Who This Is For
An enameled Dutch oven is a multipurpose pot that you can use for all kinds of recipes, including braising, baking bread, boiling pasta water, and even deep frying. These pots are particularly well-suited to slow cooking not only because they effectively retain heat, but also because they can be transferred from stovetop to oven, so you can sear and then braise meats. Their lids trap in moisture as food cooks, which makes everything inside extra-tender. And unlike bare cast iron, the enamel is easy to clean and maintain.
A 5½- to 6½-quart oven should serve two to four people, and we think this size will work for most cooking tasks. If youre feeding a crowd, you might want to bump up to a 7-, 9-, or even 13-quart version. Keep in mind that the bigger the oven, the heavier and harder it will be to move around a kitchen, especially when its brimming with chili. When it comes to shape, a round Dutch oven will work better on the round burners of most stoves, whereas an oval oven may heat less evenly and be difficult to fit on a small stovetop. However, an oval oven can be useful for large, long roasts like a tenderloin. It will of course fit nicely on an oval burner, and it should also work fine on a large round burner for something like a braise, which you start on the stove and finish in the oven.
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How To Tell If It Is Fake With Vintage Le Creuset Markings
Before we even begin to understand the markings on Le Creuset cookware, we need to establish the authenticity.
If you are looking to buy genuine Le Creuset cookware, you need to look for the tell-tale signs. Over recent years, there has been a rise in imitation products masquerading as the genuine article. This is a real issue as the replicas are significantly poorer in quality and performance. We therefore need to look at genuine vintage Le Creuset markings.
People are being attracted to what would seem like a real bargain. Instead, they are paying a premium price for a non-branded product. You need to be careful, especially if you are buying from somewhere where you cannot physically touch the product.
Potential issues include
- Risk of cracking.
- No warranty and risk of injury.
You can however try and limit your risks. One aspect is to take a close look at the lip of the pan. In older Le Creusets, they are fully enameled. On newer ones, the primer shows through. On fake versions, you can see the cast iron.
If you are buying online, ask to see real pictures of the bottom of the pan with the vintage Le Creuset markings. They should also have the following
- The name of Le Creuset
- There should be a double-digit number
- It should have France or Made in France
- It should also have the Diamond mark of Le Creuset.
How To Choose The Right Size
And what’s the most versatile size if you just want to buy one Dutch oven? Chantelle recommends one with a capacity of about five to six litres : “It’s versatile and great for a family of around four, or for cooking a meal for two and freezing the leftovers. You’ll get good use out of it.”
If you have an induction or ceramic cooktop, consider the size of your cooking zone before you buy. It’s best that you choose a pot that fits well with the size of the heated zone for better cooking efficiency.
The Kmart Dutch oven.
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Choosing A Cast Iron Pot Over Stainless Steel Or Copper
Firstly, what’s the big deal over cast-iron pots and why would you consider one?
A cast-iron pot can withstand high temperatures up to about 260°C , whereas a stainless steel or copper pot is usually only oven-safe up to 190°C.
This means that with a cast-iron pot, you can start cooking something on the stovetop, then pop it into the oven to finish it off which makes it great for dishes like casseroles and braises where you need to sear meat or other ingredients first before roasting.
A cast-iron pot can withstand high temperatures up to about 250°C, whereas a stainless steel pot is usually only oven-safe up to 190°C
Another advantage cast-iron pots have is that they’re compatible with induction cooktops. They distribute heat very evenly and are great for versatile cooking tasks, from searing foods and slow cooking to baking bread.
The only disadvantage is that they can be quite heavy, so may not be suitable if you have mobility or dexterity issues, and they can be difficult to clean if food gets baked on .
Cast-iron pots, or Dutch ovens, are perfect for winter comfort cooking.
Choose The Version Of Your Product
- This pan has a high-end build quality, so it’s sturdy and lasts a long time.
- Le Creuset provides a lifetime warranty on this pan.
- The drip rings in the lid distribute the moisture in the pan evenly, so your dish stays tender.
- A cast-iron pan is relatively heavy and less easy to move around than an aluminum pan.
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Why You Should Trust Us
Weve been covering Dutch ovens at Wirecutter since 2015. Ray Aguilera, who wrote the original version of this guide, had been a professional product reviewer since 2006, in addition to being an avid cook and home brewer. Kevin Purdy, a former Wirecutter staff writer, previously updated this guide.
Anna Perling, who wrote the most recent version of this article, covered a variety of kitchen items from hand mixers to small saucepans in her time at Wirecutter. To update this guide in 2020, she read new editorial reviews on Dutch ovens, including ones from Epicurious, The Kitchn, The Strategist, and Americas Test Kitchen. She also read up on the science of cookware, consulting Cooking For Engineers and Cooking Issues.
Upgrade Pick: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast
*At the time of publishing, the price was $360.
Le Creusets Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5½-Quart Round French Oven is the best Dutch oven you can buy. Its the most durable oven weve tested, and we think its the best option for cooks who want a heritage piece of cookware. Le Creusets oven turns out great food every time, and its the most enjoyable to use of any weve tested. Le Creusets oven is one of the lightest we tested and has the largest handles, which makes it the easiest oven to cook with and to clean. Le Creusets pots have a durable enamel coatingwith a smooth finish for even cookingthats backed by a lifetime warranty. Le Creusets oven is expensive, and if you get it, youll be investing in longevity. In our tests we didnt find that it cooked that much better than the Lodge, but in our experience its enamel has far more staying power.
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How The Le Creuset Has Held Up
Le Creuset Dutch ovens are among the most durable of any weve tested, and with proper care, they can last for decades. They dont need to be babied, but we do have tips for how to preserve both their function and their looks. And though senior engineering manager Polina Grinbaums Dutch oven still works well after 16 years, she tells us shes been hard on it, and the ovens internal enamel has taken some damage .